With over 12 years of experience, Munashe Makava has already had a storied career in finance that includes tenures as VP-Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) with Goldman Sachs and previously for eight years as a pivotal part of Deloitte’s external audit department, where he led the financial audits of some of the largest companies in Zimbabwe. Now, as a principal at Centerview Partners, a leading investment banking firm, he brings his unique global perspective and his expertise in finance, business, and technology to help companies with strategies designed to improve their businesses. Based in the firm’s New York office, Munashe focuses primarily on technology investment banking, advising business leaders on transformational moments in the lifetime of their companies, ranging from M&A transactions to shareholder activism defense. “I really enjoy being in a position where I can help companies that are creating these really phenomenal products and services make the right strategic decisions for their companies so that they can continue to serve their clients in the right way and grow their businesses,” he explains. He’s also one of the founding trustees of Branding Africa Trust, an organization that supports African business owners and entrepreneurs, founded with the mission to create a competitive Africa.
Munashe also believes that diversity and cultural fluidity is the way of the future for businesses, both in their employees and clients. “Our business is a business of people. You want to be able to connect people from different cultures very easily, and our clients are more diverse than ever before.”
As a tech banker, Munashe believes working with his clients paves the way for development of economies on a broader scale. “Different geographic regions today are at different stages of their economic revolutions, e.g., some are yet to finish going through their industrial revolutions. But there are technologies today capable of significantly accelerating these revolutions so economies can develop at a much faster rate than history has shown. I strongly believe that leading tech companies are truly contributing to the building of economies, globally. That’s part of why tech investment banking is very rewarding.”
Munashe is equally dedicated to lending his skills to help lift up budding entrepreneurs and companies in Africa. Back in 2010, Munashe and some friends saw a lot of opportunity for economic growth in his home country Zimbabwe, but a lack of business training for those looking to break into business. “We saw many people who had an entrepreneurial bug and felt compelled to go out and build their own businesses because of the economic situation in the region, but they lacked significant resources in terms of how to professionalize their businesses and access capital,” he says. Pooling their skills and experience, Munashe and his friends began consulting business owners and entrepreneurs, and founded the Branding Africa Trust with the mission to create a competitive Africa. “At the time, each of us had a specific focus area, mine being finance,” he explains. “Within each chosen area we were going to develop not only ourselves, but build a broad network that Branding Africa could leverage to benefit entrepreneurs and up-and-coming businesses within the continent.”
Though his success now spans over a decade, Munashe is still in awe of the journey that led him to where he is today. “A few years ago, when I was in Zimbabwe, if someone had told me I was going to be working on Wall Street, I'd have chuckled,” he says.
Munashe holds an MBA from New York University.
Principal — Centerview Partners